April 30, 2009
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The free Thursday off-shoot of the Indianapolis Star is once again going through a name change.

An editorial in today's edition of says that, in the renamed and redesigned Metromix, "we'll be hitting the topics you asked us to feature more frequently: dining, music, bars and clubs, movies, TV, local events, video games and celebrities."

I often get questioned about how I feel regarding "the competition" in this market. My sincere response is that I believe the more vibrant, interesting, engaging, thoughtful coverage we have on A&E matters, the better. But by "A&E matters," I don't mean celebrity gossip, press-release re-writing or material that can be found just as easily from a hundred other sources. It's difficult for a city to thrive culturally without critical commentary and the encouragement of excellence and I'm hoping that this latest transformation doesn't reduce even further the coverage by local writers of local events, restaurants, and attractions.

So what would you like to see in the revamped INtake/ when it comes to coverage of local A&E? What has been your take on the previous incarnations? And where to you stand in the ongoing battle between the Star's freebie (by whatever name) and Nuvo Newsweekly?

Your thoughts?
  • The Star's entertainment thingy is just plain bad. And it doesn't cover the arts. It's more for the ex-frat boys ex-sorority girls. They are never going to provide Indy anything worthwhile. I would assume that they will continue to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
  • So, like everything else at the Star, the entertainment/freebie magazine department becomes an offshoot of a syndicated nationwide product. I've known a few good local writers who've written for INtake/ One of them privately used to call the rag The Man's NUVO. How prophetic that writer turned out to be!

    I do hope they keep the good local writers on staff. Beyond them, the publication holds little interest for me.
  • Kent, I don't think INTake/Metromix/ the Magazine appeals even to the lowest common denominator...
  • The Stars arts coverage has been going downhill for a decade and the decline continues. It's Thurs. freebie has never been able to compete with NUVO because all it caters to is movie ads and all it encourages is young adults to get drunk in smoke-filled straight bars.
  • Lou, thanks for the heads-up on this. I used to work for one of the publications in this space and been impressed by a lot of the things that have happened recently at as well as at NUVO. To me, has been successful in differentiating themselves from their more esteemed competition by going younger and more nihilistic -- admittedly that's not for everyone but hopefully a move further under Gannett's wing won't make them lose their identity.
  • I think you're being a little generous. Since when does the Star's standard Copy & Paste = Press-release re-writing??
  • There is no competition between INtake and NUVO, because the Indy Star doesn't cover the local arts scene anymore. Anyone who cares about the arts in Indianapolis, reads NUVO. So sad. I have been involved in the Indy theater scene for 27 years, and to see the decline in arts support by our own local newspaper has been disheartening.
  • I used to read the Star online for the A&E but they got rid to good reporters that covered Hoosiers with a Hollywood connection, the art museum and cultural events. NUVO readers were more younger and new age. The Star (really the old News) covered news for the older generation that had money to support the arts, theater and culture. Hate to see the go away.
  • If anything, the rebranding of INTake with another catchy name and a spiffy new layout is a non-event with regards to A&E in central Indiana.

    While understanding their attempts to target a younger reader, the Star continues to hide their lack of commitment to in-depth coverage and absence of well written articles about the arts, entertainment, dining and social scene with the visual glam of still another make-over.

    We all need to realize the Indy Star will never be the current local news media it once was ever again.
  • Agree with most of the above--I quit picking up the Indy version once I realized it was just a way to sell ads wrapped around those 'copy/paste' press releases of news I can get elsewhere. NUVO isn't aimed at my general tastes, but it is still far superior to Gannett. I'm still hoping for a Lou Harry daily!
  • The moment I heard that the Star's weekly entertainment paper focused their coverage on the under-35 set, I stopped reading it. This was in the first couple of weeks that it existed. They would only profile people under 35 and places/things that the 30-and-under crowd would appreciate. I found it shallow and insulting, and it seems as if they have embraced even more shallowness (celebrities? bars?) in an attempt to segment readership and target advertising.

    I much prefer the thoughtful, adult coverage of NUVO and, of course, IBJ.
  • I would like to see an article that has over 500 written words, and is not about one of their advertisers. Otherwise forget it.
  • Well given that I just went to and it had a headline about a movie made by Butler students and a byline right under saying that the movie was made by BSU students, its not like you can rely on their information to be accurate.

    NUVO not only covers a&e in Indy but you can see their stamp on wide array of events throughout the year, leaving an important contribution to our city. I have been in Indy for 5 years and seen an increase in the amount, variety and quality of NUVO's coverage. Where as the Star and their freebie and has all but disappeared.

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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.